THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE - After filing a strongly-worded trademark infringement suit against rapper Burberry Perry this summer, Burberry, has been handed the final victory in the case. The 160-year-old brand filed suit against Perry Moise – better known, until recently, as Burberry Perry – in August in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a federal court in Manhattan. The British fashion label alleged that the musician/producer’s use of its name and various other trademarks was in direct violation of its federally registered marks and stood to cause it “irreparable harm.”
Shortly after filing suit and after Moise had changed his various social media handles to exclude the “Burberry” name from them (and then announced he would change his name to TheGoodPerry), Burberry garnered an initial victory. Judge Edgardo Ramos of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction in its favor, thereby prohibiting Moise from using the Burberry trademark until the parties’ case was concluded. And as of November, the matter has been resolved, with the court siding with Burberry yet again.
This time, the court ruled that Moise (as well as his agents, employees, associates, etc.) is permanently prohibited from using the Burberry trademarks, including the house’s name, its famed plaid print and stylized “equestrian knight on horseback" marks, among others, and any similar marks for the purpose of marketing, advertising, or promoting himself or his work. The court held that Moise must be in full compliance with its order as of November 22, 2016.
The ruling came in the form of a default judgment, a final, binding decision from the court that follows from the failure to take action by one of the parties to the action. Most often, it is a judgment in favor of the plaintiff – Burberry, in this case – when the defendant – Moise – has not responded to a summons or has failed to appear before a court of law. And that appears to be exactly what happened in the case at hand.
While Moise took to his social media on the heels of the filing to laugh off the lawsuit, it turns out, he was not quite as brazen off the web. In fact, he never responded to Burberry’s lawsuit, nor did he ever make an appearance in court to argue his side of the matter, thereby solidifying Burberry’s already arguably promising case against him.
It is worth noting that with the initiation of litigation always comes the risk of bad press - even for the plaintiff, the the party that is alleging that it has been wronged. While Burberry was the ultimate victor in the lawsuit at hand, it did not come out unscathed in the process. On the heels of filing suit, Moise’s fans took to the Burberry Instagram account to share choice words, spamming the brand’s photos with hundreds of distasteful comments.
Neither Burberry's legal counsel nor Moise opted to comment on the matter.
UPDATE (1/6/2016): It appears as though this case is far from over, as Moise is opting not to abide by the court's order. His Twitter he is still using the Burberry Perry name and the following email address "Burberryperry@gmail.com." The same goes for Instagram, where he has changed his handle, but still maintains the "Burberry Perry" bio and lists the "Burberryperry@gmail.com" email address.
* The case is BURBERRY LIMITED (UK) ET AL V. MOISEE, 1:16CV05943.